Geary, Porter & Donovan, P.C. has been rated one of the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report. Click here to learn more about awards and distinctions of Geary, Porter & Donovan, P.C. Family Law Attorneys.
The Best Lawyers in America and Best Law Firms recognition is by Woodward White, Inc. Woodward White, Inc., in connection with U.S. News and World Report, has recognized Geary, Porter & Donovan, P.C., as a Tier One Law firm in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex with respect to family law for 2018.
What matters in divorce
The decision to obtain a divorce is one of the most crucial decisions a person can make. The consequences can last for years or a lifetime. A decision this important requires a great deal of focus and consideration. Divorce is oftentimes unforeseen. Even in planning, one cannot always anticipate what will happen as the legal process unfolds. Divorce is an intricate process. For protection and peace of mind, you will need an attorney who serves as:
- an objective sounding board for your needs;
- an advocate and voice for your needs; and
- a guide through a complex legal system.
Whether you are the one who wants the divorce or the one who is having to respond to your spouse who wants the divorce, how you respond can have an impact on the outcome of the divorce, you and the future of the family. Equipping yourself with accurate information is essential. Be mindful that each case is unique and requires an individualized resolution plan.
A crucial aspect in arriving at an advantageous financial settlement is documenting all assets, income and other resources. Full disclosure is essential.
It is imperative to consult a lawyer to ascertain which factors would affect your specific case.
Key steps & facts you should know about divorce in Texas:
- Texas does not recognize a legal separation.
- In Texas, there is a minimum waiting period of 60 days after a petition is filed before a divorce may be finalized. However, few cases are resolved in 60 days.
- The court will presume that all property owned at the time of the divorce is community property. One can challenge this presumption with adequate evidence that an asset is separate property.
- Texas law provides for a fault or no fault grounds for divorce. No Fault means no proof of any fault, wrong-doing or marital misconduct is necessary for obtaining a divorce.
- The parties may submit Agreed Temporary Orders or the Court can enter Temporary Orders after a hearing. Temporary orders help facilitate protection against potential and immediate problems, such as child custody and financial support. Temporary orders can also dictate who will live in the home, who will be able to write checks on the bank accounts, and who will have temporary custody of the children. Unless modified, the temporary orders are effective and enforceable until the divorce is finalized.
- In many Texas counties (including Dallas, Rockwall, Denton, and Collin Counties), the Courts have implemented “standing orders” which are applicable to all parties in every divorce suit from the time the divorce is filed or served upon the other spouse. The purpose of “standing orders” is to protect and preserve the parties, their children, and their property while the divorce is pending by prohibiting certain behavior.
- Examples of prohibited behavior may include:
- Removing the children from the state;
- Withdrawing children from their current school or day-care facility;
- Hiding the children;
- Verbally or physically threatening the other party;
- Selling, transferring, destroying or hiding property;
- Making withdrawals from bank accounts or incurring debt for any purpose other than normal living expenses, medical expenses, business expenses or attorney fees;
- Destroying or altering personal (including all social media accounts) and business records; or
- Canceling, altering, or otherwise affecting casualty, automobile, health or life insurance policies, including changing beneficiary designations.
- After temporary orders are in effect, the discovery process begins. This critical stage allows your attorney to gather pertinent facts, documents and other evidence to help resolve the case.
- The majority of family law cases settle and do not go to trial. Settlement can occur via mediation, informal settlement discussions, agreements or arbitration.
- If these settlement vehicles do not result in resolution, the case will proceed to trial.